Oakland Athletics

Welcome Back to the Oakland Athletics Brandon Moss! (and Thank You!)

Brandon Moss, who broke out with the Oakland Athletics in 2012, was an All-Star in 2014 as well as a fan favorite, is back with the A’s!

He came over in Monday’s trade with the Kansas City Royals and brought with him what the A’s desperately needed – a highly coveted second left-handed reliever for the bullpen in Ryan Buchter.

Oakland Athletics
Brandon Moss, February 2012 in Phoenix, AZ./Photo: Anda Chu.

After having dealt with a severe hip injury throughout the 2014 season, Moss moved on to play with the Cleveland Indians, was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals and spent the 2017 season with the Royals after signing as a free agent.

Despite hitting two home runs in the 2014 American League Wild Card game and having hip surgery after the A’s lost that game (to the Royals), Moss’ numbers have never been quite the same. 

During his three-year tenure with Oakland Moss posted a .254/.340/.504 batting line, smashed 76 long balls and drove in 220 runs. He was hitting for at least average and power and he was getting on base. 

In his years since leaving Oakland, he’s hit .220/.295/.439 with a still decent 69 home runs and 175 RBI. He’s stopped hitting for average and stopped getting on base, hitting just .207 last season with a .279 on-base percentage. Still the slugger hit 22 home runs but he doesn’t exactly fit into the A’s current plans. 

They’ve got Matt Olson at first and Khris Davis is scheduled to be the everyday designated hitter so there’s a chance that Moss will either be flipped prior to the start of the season or end up a bench guy. Yet, according to the Oakland Clubhouse’s Melissa Lockard:

Still, Renato Nunez is a young prospect and has a lot more upside.

 Even though most fans, the team’s brass and even Moss himself are aware that his second stint with the Oakland Athletics may be a short one, Moss’ reaction to returning to the Oakland Athletics went like this,

“When I got the news, I was jumping and screaming. Not because I didn’t like K.C., I loved it there, but because it’s Oakland, and because Bob Melvin is still the manager there.”

So how did the acquisition of Moss help the A’s get a pitcher that they had been after since 2015

Well, the Royals have been attempting to cut payroll of late (supposedly) in order to make room to be able to re-sign Eric Hosmer, now a free agent. The A’s taking on a dead-money contract like Moss’ in order to get a reliever, still making the league minimum, having not yet reached arbitration is really a win-win for both clubs.

The Royals get a salary dump and the A’s get a reliever they like and need with the added bonus of Moss for cheaper (and longer) than they would have had they signed a lefty off of the free agent market.

Oakland Athletics
Brandon Moss/Getty Images.

The Royals also threw in $3.25 million towards Moss’ salary meaning that the Oakland Athletics are only on the hook for $5 million with at least four years of Buchter who will only be eligible for arbitration for three of those years. 

So however you look at it, acquiring Moss allowed the A’s to get the reliever they really wanted and bring back a fan favorite, even though it may not be for very long. Still, there is always a chance that Nunez won’t make the cut or Moss will be a backup in the event of an injury to another player during spring training. 

This is baseball – anything can and usually does happen. Still it’s nice for the Oakland Athletics to have Moss back (for now) and taking on his contract allowed them to be able to get the lefty of their choice. All around it was a good transaction. 

Hopefully Moss will hang around, and if not, it’s nice to know that he’s happy and everyone else is happy he’s back however short or long his stint may be. 

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